A Bakersfield College Wonderland

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Merry Christmas

Dr. John Gerhold 2016 Culinary and Christmas Caroling
2017 BSO and BC. Home for the Holidays. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Neo, December 21 2018…..3 months away from being 2

Rural Initiatives in McFarland

Big things are happening in rural Kern County! This picture was taken after a two hour session of planning how McFarland Unified School District and Bakersfield College will level out the playing field for hundreds (and eventually thousands) of students through early college opportunities. I’m thankful to Aaron Resendez and Brian Bell for providing us this opportunity in McFarland.


“There are times in our lives where people cross each other’s path and assist in creating greatness,” wrote McFarland High Principal Brian Bell on Facebook.  I couldn’t agree more, Brian!

Planning for the launch of the 2019 9th grade Early College
Bakersfield College and McFarland High School Early College Planning Team

KCCD Trustees Award Gym Design/Build to S.C. Anderson

One of the commitments that we made on the Measure J campaign trail was on keeping construction work local whenever possible, and this newest award shows that.  You can check out this piece by BakersfieldNow about the contract.  We are extremely excited to work with S.C. Anderson, and can’t wait to get the ball rolling on our new gym!

Current picture of the BC Gym

Campus Center Groundbreaking January 16

We will be holding the Campus Center groundbreaking at Bakersfield College on January 16! The Campus Center is the second building construction project breaking ground thanks to the funding of Measure J.  Please join us for music, fun and a performance by the BC drumline! And thank you for voting Yes on J!

Campus Center Groundbreaking Invite

Coming Soon: Gades Grub!

Our BC food trailer “Gades Grub” is officially on campus!  We are so excited to show this baby off in the spring semester, but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak.  Gades Grub will help feed our students while Campus Center is under construction. It will be near the Huddle (the gymnasium area) so make sure to visit it and try some delicious BC eats!

RAD Training at BC

BC’s Public Safety team held its two-day Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training on campus earlier this week. RAD is a self-defense course designed just for women and was founded in 1989 by a former college police officer.  This training was open to female students, staff and the public at no charge. Twenty-two attendees learned defensive techniques to empower them to deal with unexpected situations that can take place anywhere at any time.

Public Safety tries to hold these trainings a couple of times each semester, and will be holding one down the road at Porterville College. Thank you to Chief Counts and his team! Make sure to keep an eye out for future trainings!  

Wreaths Across America

Bakersfield National Cemetery held its Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday morning to honor and remember veterans. Our very own Mary Jo Pasek and her husband Tom organized this event.  Make sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian story with more photos.

Mary Jo & Tom Pasek at the Wreaths Across America ceremony.

White Christmas in Massachusetts

Jack Hernandez shared this beautiful photo with me, where he skied in Lenox, Massachusetts with his family.  Look at that gorgeous snow!

Jack Hernandez in skis

Happy Holidays From Tampico Hermoso

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio shared these beautiful Christmas Parade photos from Tampico Hermoso. Diego and his family visited the Mexican Venice in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México, where he said that the canal was 30 feet from his front door!  This is absolutely stunning and I think I might have to add it to my travel list.

Thank you KGET!

KGET’s Tabatha Mills swung by campus this week to take a look at the Campus Center construction, and specifically, the Fireside room.  Thirty years ago, BC’s Phyllis Hullett and the women of Junior League planned the very first Women’s Business Conference right in that room, which Tabatha will feature a story on down the road. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek and Bill Potter for showing Tabatha the room, and taking a walk down memory lane!  

Mary Jo Pasek, Tabatha Mils and Bill Potter

Dual Enrollment Orientation

Michele Bresso shared a photo of BC’s Industrial Automation faculty member Manny Fernandez orienting the high school dual enrollment teachers about BC classes on the high school campuses. We are strengthening this pipeline to our baccalaureate degree program.  Thanks for capturing the moment, Michele!

Dual enrollment orientation

Express Enrollment

The Outreach and School Relations Department wrapped up a busy December with Express Enrollment events in Arvin and the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, the last of seven express enrollment days in just this month.  Express Enrollments were held at the Panorama and Delano campuses, as well as BC Southwest, Shafter and Arvin in the month of December.

The Outreach and Dual Enrollment staffs celebrated the holidays together with a Christmas party at La Costa Mexican Grill on Tuesday.

I’d like to thank the Outreach staff for everything they do to get our students started correctly on their educational journey. The first Express Enrollment of 2019 is on Wednesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. starting in the Welcome Center.

Honoring Devin Aldridge

Bakersfield College is a place where students come to achieve their dreams and complete their education under sometimes very extreme circumstances. Take the case of Renegade Devin Aldridge. Devin was diagnosed with an aggressive and eventually fatal brain cancer, but was committed to his education. One of his professors, Andrew Haney tells me Devin attended all his classes, took every final, and was a dedicated Renegade. Professor Haney requested that I confer his BC credentials at the service. At a service honoring Devin’s life, I presented Devin’s father with his certificates. It warmed my heart to see the closeness that faculty members in automotive program had created for their students. Clearly Prof. Haney and the students were BC family for Devin. I am so proud that BC has faculty of the caliber of Andrew Haney…..incredibly smart, work long hours, absolutely committed to our students, with a great heart that embraces our community.

BC Chamber Singers Visit Breakfast Rotary

BC Chamber Singers visited the Breakfast Rotary meeting this week, which just so happened to be Mindy Wilmot’s birthday!  Happy belated birthday, Mindy!  I love when we are able to show the community how wonderful our students are.  Thank you to our Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Jennifer Garrett for all of your hard work! Check out the picture of the choir with our Chancellor Tom Burke who was beaming like a proud father at the great performance of the students.

BC’s High Touch Strategy

BC is a Guided Pathways college that uses a high-touch, high-tech approach to student support.  While we are integrating the newest technology to support students with the Pathways Program Mapper, Starfish, etc, we are also keeping the high-touch personalized face-to-face, staff to student, support as well. Our teams across campus have been using the High Touch strategy to support students in their spring enrollment.  Thank you to everyone for your commitment to our students!

Umoja Milestone Celebration Receives Senate Resolution

Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Community coordinator, received a Senate resolution at the Umoja Milestone Celebration. In addition to Dr. Parks’ recognition, three Umoja students were honored for graduating, program mentors were acknowledged, and Umoja faculty and community supporters were thanked.

Mr. Michael Bowers presented the resolution from Senator Andy Vidack’s office, and Dr. Parks was very appreciative and quite touched. Umoja student David Thomas had contacted Mr. Bowers asking that Dr. Parks, who started the program in 2015, be recognized for her dedication to and work with Umoja. This semester the program grew to include two sections of English/student development and a campus club.

Michael Bowers presenting Dr. Paula L. Parks with a Senate resolution.

The three December graduates are Tyler Johnican, Mikeisha Lowder, and Donna Polk – all from the first cohort. The program is designed to increase the graduation and transfer rate of African-American students, and Dr. Parks noted the pride in seeing students graduate, but the sadness in seeing them leave BC. All three of the graduates said that the program was instrumental in their success and growth.

The Milestone Celebration also included the welcome by RIchard McDowell; opening ritual by Dr. Parks and Mr. Jonathan Ward, the Umoja counselor and student development instructor, Kwanzaa candle lighting by students in the English 53 class; and words by the Umoja Club President Korrie Edwards and English 1a student Michaela Edwards.

Also noted as key to the success of the Umoja program is the support of BC and community mentors; the Umoja advisory board; dedicated faculty Mr. Michael Little (math), Ms. Kalisha Hudgins (math), Ms. Faith Bradham (library), Coach Reggie Bolton (health), and Mr. Gilbert Ayuk (astronomy); and BC’s awesome administrative team.

May 2019 Commencement at Rabobank

Guess what?  The May 2019 Graduation is moving to Rabobank!  Due to Measure J construction, the ceremony will not be at the Memorial Stadium, but not to worry, the planning power team has already started the planning!  

Monika Scott, Kristin Rabe & Jennifer Serratt on their way to Rabobank.

Fun Group to Work With

Had a lovely time meeting with this group of innovative leaders as we discussed amazing things for local entrepreneurship.

Back Row: David Teasedale, John Means, Manny Mourtzanos, Goli Ameri
Front: Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, JP Lake

A Gift to Remember

On Thursday, Bob Covey delivered a special gift to my office. The photo shows the back side of Saturn. The white dot in the distance is Earth. Can you believe it?  The photo came from Ed Saltzman who worked for NASA for 51 years. Had to share this incredible gift from Bob and Matha Covey.

The Hills Are Alive!

Community member Tony Moreno posted this gorgeous video last week, showing Bakersfield from Alfred Harrell Highway.  Thanks to the rain, our hills are a rich green!

Photos from this week

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Janet Tarjan

Some of our wonderful BC staff and faculty visiting the CALM lights last week.  Looks like they had a blast!

The BC Exec team celebrated our December birthdays.  I’m so lucky to have such a great team!

I loved running into Bob Hawks while out and about doing Christmas shopping. Bob worked for Educational Services at KCCD for many years. He is a great supporter and advocate for education and he always greets me with a smile and a warm hug. Bob began working for small business development in the mid-90s and retired a few years ago.

Bob Hawks & Sonya Christian

Our Strong Workforce team celebrated the holidays with an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!

Strong Workforce Ugly Sweater Party

Our Adult Ed team also sends warm holiday wishes. 🙂

Adult Ed team

David Spencer came to visit us. I was so happy to see him!

Tarina Perry, David Spencer & Sonya Christian

BC SouthWest showing off their holiday spirit!

Officer Marcos Cifuentas, Joanne Acosta, Fernando Lara

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams.
Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball signs with Peru State College

Congrats to Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball who signed to continue her playing career with Peru State College, an NAIA school located in Peru, Nebraska.

Jordyn is from Delano and went to Cesar E. Chavez HS. She will begin her career as a Bobcat this spring as she enrolls in classes and will compete on the diamond immediately. This last season as a Renegade Jimenez batted .326 with 18 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, 12 RBI and 1 HR in helping the team set three school records: best overall record at 33-11, best conference record at 13-1, most wins in a season at 33 and won the 2018 WSN North Conference Championship.

Jordyn Jimenez

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

Helping Those in Need

The chamber singers donated new toys for their holiday dinner this year and gave them to Lydia Ranger, whose church feeds families and provides toys for those in need. Lydia was instrumental in helping our singers get to Australia, and I love how they are paying it forward.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

‘Tis the season to be a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 15, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC’s Jason Frando just keeps swimming

Love this powerful video of BC swimmer Jason Frando.  Such an inspiration to see one of our student-athletes succeeding in school and life.  He’s really making a splash at BC!

Special shout-out to student Justin Frando for shooting and editing this great video!

Check out the video on YouTube!

Weekend Adventures

Dogs in sand
This past weekend, Neo was happy to be reunited with Bessie in Southern California. Can you believe how big Bessie is getting?
Dog on beach
I love this photo of Neo enjoying the sand beneath his paws and the sun rising on the beach.
Dog in sand
And, of course, Bessie… a Southern California puppy who knows how to have fun in the sun and sand.

Education Strategy Session

Bakersfield College enriches the community it serves by partnering with local organizations to meet local needs. On Tuesday, November 27, a BC team met with several North Kern K-12 district leaders to initiate conversations surrounding Teacher Preparation Pathways in Kern County.

The Central Valley, along with the rest of the state and nation, is suffering from a teacher shortage. BC currently contributes to teacher preparation through its Early Childhood Education AS-T and Elementary Teacher Education AA-T degrees. Through research and planning from a recent Education Futures grant, BC is broadening its collaborations with its K-12 and university partners to alleviate teacher shortages in its surrounding communities.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog set the stage by highlighting the transformative power of education, particularly for rural Kern. Abel Guzman, Exec. Director of Rural Initiatives, gathered leaders from Grimmway Schools, KCSOS, McFarland High School, Richland Union Elementary School District, Wasco Independence High School, Shafter Learning Center, and Delano Joint Union High School and Elementary School Districts to participate in the first North Kern strategy session. The rest of the Bakersfield College team included:

  • Liz RozellVice President of Instruction
  • Billie Jo Rice and Michele BressoDeans of Instruction
  • Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, and Jessica WojtysiakFaculty

BC is dedicated to working with CSUB and other community partners to recruit, train, and retain more teachers at all levels and in all subjects. More strategy sessions and plans to expand current offerings are in the works. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the coming months!

Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force

It is uplifting to see leaders in education across the state coming together to increase student learning and degree attainment. The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force met on November 29th at the LAX Marriott to do just that –- influence student outcomes at scale.

Noting that systems development is critical for improving student success in California, I highlighted the statewide need for more efficient data flow and interactive student planning tools. Current statewide data systems challenges were discussed by a panel of experts, including Patrick Perry from CSU, Anthony Dalton from CalPASS, Tess Carmen De Roy from CCGI, and Krystinne Mica from ASCCC.  Omid Pourzanjani, CCCCO Visiting Vice Chancellor, shared statewide data of current student paths and ideas to improve the student journey.

Program Mapper projects that sequence curriculum in a virtual map for students were showcased by Bakersfield College, Cypress College, and Concentric Sky. President of Cypress College JoAnna Schilling, CTE faculty Kathleen Reiland, Workforce consultant Steve Glyer, BC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Assistant Vice President of CSU Bakersfield Vikash Lakhani, and Wayne Skipper from Concentric Sky presented updates and future planning for their respective projects.

After the presentations and panel discussion, the task force determined two areas of focus: Mapping Student Journeys and Intersegmental Data Systems. The group plans to continue its collaborative work over the next two years, including three more face-to-face meetings.

Sue Vaughn retires a Renegade

Sue Vaughn and friends

Last Thursday, we celebrated the career of a woman who has dedicated her life to education.  Sue Vaughn, who has served at BC for more than two decades, said goodbye to fellow staff and faculty in a ceremony held at PAC 101.

Colleagues such as Manny MourtzanosZav DadabhoyNicky Damania, Steve Watkin, and Kalina Hill (in a UCLA football shirt) shared heartwarming stories about their experiences with Sue and what an inspirational woman she is to all of us.  It was emotional to witness Sue reflect on her time at BC; she has put so much of herself into the education of others and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

Sue has invested more than 32 years in higher education. She faithfully and diligently served BC for 22 of those years (20 as the Director of Enrollment Services, and 2 as the Director of the Child Development Center).

Prior to BC, Sue served as Director of the PACE program for public assistance recipients at Tompkins Cortland Community College in upstate New York for 10 years.  She also directed a Child Council in Syracuse, trained Head Start Teachers in Mississippi, directed a Parent Cooperative Preschool in Milpitas CA, and taught 6th grade in Palos Verdes.  Needless to say, her accomplishments in education are nothing short of remarkable.

Some of Sue’s notable career highlights include:

  • Served as Vice President of the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council
  • President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers CACCRAO
  • Awarded the CACCRAO Robert Brown Leadership Award in 2017

A couple of fun facts about Sue include:

  • Sue and her husband Norm have two grown sons and five grandchildren
  • Sue is a diehard UCLA fan. Go Bruins!
Sue Vaughn

Sue will be sorely missed around the BC campus, but we know she will be enjoying her retirement years with her family.  Thank you for everything, Sue!

BC talks Open Enrollment on Telemundo!

Jaime Lopez and Manuel Muralles made an appearance on Telemundo to encourage students and remind parents that BC Enrollment is now open.  They provided information on upcoming events and outreach to help students enroll for the Spring semester. Great information and great to see our team getting the word out! Todos Somos BC!  Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for this great partnership with Telemundo. 

Watch video of their appearance on KGET.

Delano De-stress Fest

The De-stresser event at the main campus was extended to the Delano Campus on Monday, December 3, 2018 during finals week. The Miracle Mutts were such a hit with the students, and even faculty and staff were able to benefit. According to the Miracle Mutt’s website, many benefits of human-canine interaction are:

  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased production of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain–chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness, calmness, and connectivity
  • Decreased production of cortisol and norepinephrine–chemicals that produce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear
  • Reduced depression, loneliness, and anxiety
  • Boosted motivation for physical activity and social interaction

Such great physical, emotional, and social health benefits from the interaction with these playful dogs!

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used his dog, Jofi, in his therapy sessions. But, why? What is it that can make the presence of dogs so soothing? Many students were able to experience this phenomonon first-hand and even asked that the Miracle Mutts come back the first week of next semester.

Thank you for the support!

Delano Suicide Awareness

The Suicide Awareness event was geared toward an open dialogue centered on eliminating the stigma in society when it comes to discussing mental health, and even more so addressing suicide.  Bringing awareness creates a safe space to openly discuss sensitive and otherwise taboo topics. By opening up this forum, we allow students to be empowered to talk openly when the need arises.  The event included a hands-on activity where students were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through art.

A must-read by Jack Hernandez

Newspaper article

Loved seeing BC’s Jack Hernandez in The Bakersfield Californian’s Community Voices section. His piece entitled “You can’t go back home” is a must-read. Check it out!

Another must-read by Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez

I also love this poem by Jack Hernandez, which was recently published in the current issue of the Anglican Theological Review.  So powerful!

A Rule

My monkish soul

seeks a rule

in this familiar

place where windows

dazzle no longer,

the call of a full

order or stomach

receding like mother’s

admonition to clean

my dinner plate.

The days unfold

with limited promise,

my genes fulfilled

mind stuffed

with books

instructions not

to blink

before strong

ideas no matter

how strange their eyes.

A young woman

walks by

a baby in each arm

her days

ruled like mine

when flushed with time,

The rule of life

I seek now

is a grace to light

this cloistered dusk.

South Kern Sol shines light on Renegade Pantry

Reporter Jessica Manzo of South Kern Sol highlighted the Renegade pantry in an article last week, spreading the word of how food pantries at BC and CSUB provide food security and important nutrition for college students, especially during finals week.

Manzo spoke to several Renegade Pantry coordinators, including David Guinto and Nallely Sanchez, about how pantries provide an important resource for students who are already struggling with the costs of tuition, books, housing, and school supplies. She also quoted this blog about how food support is able to help students commit to their education.

If you’d like to donate food or new and gently used clothing to the Renegade Pantry, you can drop it off in Levinson Hall during the pantry’s hours of operation, which are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Popular items include drinks, cookies, and frozen snacks.

Norma Rojas-Mora appears on Telemundo

Norma Rojas-Mora was on Telemundo this week to share information on Bakersfield College, including the open enrollment period, BC’s expansion plans, as well as to provide an update to the viewers on her journey at Bakersfield College.

Telemundo interviewed Norma when she first joined the BC team, and as always she continues to look for ways to share the great work of the college. Norma talked about what she sees as one of the most innovative programs from her perspective, the Early College initiative and partnership with the Wonderful Academy, where 38 high school students graduated from Bakersfield College one week before graduating from high school!  This was a game changer! To know that it is possible for local kids to graduate from college with their AA degree while they are simultaneously completing high school will fundamentally change access to education.

She encouraged parents to become engaged and informed about programs that help their children. More than anything, she encouraged parents to always be supportive and engaged in their child’s education. Norma promised to be back to share more about Bakersfield College and its plans for expanding in the Southwest.

Watch video of Norma’s appearance on Telemundo.

Fun photos from the Faculty Tenure Party

I received this email from Krista Moreland, a great faculty leader on campus.

“This is the year my faculty cohort and I are up for tenure. You form a unique and long lasting bond with the faculty you start full-time with, one that will last until retirement. And on Thursday Dec. 6th, many of us met at the Tower bar and grill to celebrate our year four evaluations and Tenure!  Receiving a satisfactory evaluation at year four, starts the final tenure process which culminates in spring with board approval. Although we have not received official tenure yet, we couldn’t wait to celebrate the completion of mode A evaluations and symbolically mark the occasion! It’s a great feeling to have your work be recognized by faculty and deans, and I think I can safely speak for my cohort when I say we appreciate all of the support and guidance we’ve received from our BC family over the years. “

“We had a wonderful night of cheers and pics with our colleagues, and Academic Senate President Steve Holmes symbolically marked the occasion by formally presenting each of us with a BC pin.”

“I organized the event, and our cohort all contributed, including: Erica Menchaca, Andrew Bond, Chris Dison, Harlan Hunter, Jessica Wojtysiak, Sarah Villasenor, Debbie Rosenthal, Sondra Keckley, and Krista Moreland. Others were not able to make it, but were there with us in spirit. “

“I’m  very thankful that my department supports its faculty and contributed to the celebration, including Human Services director  Lynn Knaggs, Behavioral Sciences Chair Christian Zoller,  and area Dean Richard McCrow!  Thank you to everyone who helped make the night special!”

Fun holiday photos

Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania
Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania performing at the Rainbow Voices holiday concert.

Fun photos around Bakersfield

Mayor Karen Goh and Deborah Rosenthal
Professor Deborah Rosenthal took a selfie with Mayor Karen Goh at the pop-up deli and lighting of the menorah at Chabad on Ming. It was a tradition of Mayor Harvey Hall to attend each year and Mayor Goh is keeping up the tradition.

Fun photos from the CSEA Potluck

Photos from the KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck
The Executive Suite enjoying a wonderful holiday meal. Thank you Tarina Perry for the photo.

Tuesday, December 11 was an exciting day at BC. A main water line ruptured and campus closed while our Maintenance & Operations team coordinated the emergency repairs. Tuesday also happened to be our annual Executive Suite Holiday Potluck. This is a time when our team whips-up favorite dishes and we join together to share. The food was amazing. (Because they’re all talented chefs!) And I was so happy to be able to end that day sharing stories and great conversation with these bright faces.

You would never know that just moments before they were calmly handling a campus emergency.

Outdoor Fun

As a result of their participation in the Outdoor Classroom Specialist trainings, Child Development Center teachers are now including a wider variety of specific learning and developmental activities. And the second outdoor classroom for toddlers will be ready for the children to use when they return in January. This additional classroom will allow the Center to have the children outside for up to 3 hours each day–air quality and weather permitting.

Children playing with tires
Watching these children play sure does make me “tired.”

Below is a very short video of two-year olds and their teachers enjoying themselves in the rain.  The picture above is of them utilizing the tires that we added to their outdoor classroom. So fun to be young!

North High and BC start holiday season on a high note

On Thursday, Bakersfield College was honored to host North High School’s fourth-annual Winter Collage concert in the Indoor Theater featuring the North High choir and jazz band. The BC Chamber Singers even got the opportunity to participate in the festivities.

North High students, parents, and alumni filled every seat in the Indoor Theater, and the holiday spirit reverberated through the walls of the auditorium with each performance, which ranged from ethereal traditional music to holiday show tunes. 

North High choir director Jack Bertrand directed the BC Chamber Singers in the opening song, then Chamber Singers director Jennifer Garrett directed North High students and BC Chamber Singers for a few performances. After beautifully executing the solo and group numbers that they’d been working on all school year, the North High choir turned the stage over to the North High jazz band, which played a set of funk and Latin-tinged Christmas jams.

The event was free to attend, but throughout the night, North High alumni and staff took donations and sold raffle tickets to raise money for choir and band students to visit music programs at colleges and universities across the state next spring.

I’d like to thank Jennifer Garrett and the Events staff for arranging a space for North High to host its Winter Collage while their campus is undergoing renovations, and I’d like to thank Jack Bertrand and North High for choosing BC as the temporary home for such an important night.

BC and BPD: Partners Against Crime

Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and student
(left to right) Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and Darrin Branson, BPD Business Manager

Bakersfield College is lucky to be supported by so many local institutions and community partners. One of those incredible partners, our local BPD, does so much to inspire and work with our students in the Public Safety Training and Law Enforcement fields. Chief Lyle Martin attends many BC events, including his participation on a panel earlier this year called “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide.” Director of Public Safety at BC, Chief Chris Counts, reminds me often of the great working relationship outside of the classroom between BPD and BC as well.

Holiday Tree lights up the Welcome Center

BC staff smiles by Christmas Tree
Faculty and staff pose near the holiday tree in the Welcome Center.

Faculty and staff gathered in the Welcome Center on Tuesday morning to celebrate the lighting of the holiday tree.  Hot cocoa, coffee, and delicious cookies were served. I love celebrating this time of year as it gives everyone such a warm sense of togetherness!

Kern Education Pledge

CSU Bakersfield held a news conference earlier this week about the Kern Education Pledge, an initiative partnering K-12 and college facilities.  The goal of this new alliance is to transform the county’s education system so that the pathway to college or a career is streamlined and seamless. All 47 school districts in Kern County, Cal State Bakersfield, the Kern Community College District and Taft College are part of the coalition. I absolutely love our Kern community and our commitment to education!  

Mary Barlow, Lorea Laverti, Tom Burke
(left to right) Mary Barlow, Renegade Lorea Laverti (who sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem), and Chancellor Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke, Lorea Laverti, President Jill Board
BC Music Major Lorea Laverti. Thank you Dr. Jen Garrett for your phenomenal work with students.

Kern Community College District Chancellor Tom Burke said a few words, noting that the District supports the Kern Education Pledge not only because of partnerships between the local school districts and CSU Bakersfield, but because of the mission of the pledge.  “We know that improving student outcomes throughout Kern County requires innovative and sustained collaboration across all of our organizations and I have been impressed by the level of excitement and commitment around this work that we have seen to date,” he said.  

Mary Barlow
Mary Barlow

I want to take a moment to recognize Mary C. Barlow and Kristin Beale for all of their hard work on making the Kern Education Pledge a reality. Mary was named the Kern County Superintendent of Schools last year, and has been working non-stop since then to help better the Kern County educational system.  She has spent the majority of her career in education, serving as a teacher, Director of Children and Family Services, and a district superintendent. During her time as Superintendent of the Kernville Union School District, she focused on increasing student achievement, and has continued that same goal as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

Kristin Beale
Kristin Beale

Kristin Beale has been an invaluable part of creating the Kern Education Pledge.  She is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, a CPI grantee partner that provides scholarships to more than 300 students annually. Kern Community Foundation has granted $18 million to nonprofits and scholarship recipients in Kern County, California, since the foundation was established in 1999!

It’s because of people like Mary and Kristen that the Kern Education Pledge has become a reality, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the students of Kern County.  Be sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian’s article “Collaboration of education leaders, industry partners, launch Kern Education Pledge” for more information!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Student Success Program Manager Darrell Ballard, Director of the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House Scarlett Sabin, and KBYH Executive Vice President / Program Director Robert Carter.

Segment with Darrell Ballard

Segment with Scarlett Sabin

Segment with Robert Carter

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/2-12/8) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week

Vada Lewis, Women’s Basketball

Vada had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) in a 79-66 win over Taft College on 12/7.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball

Anieus had 30 points (including seven 3-pointers) in an 81-71 win over LA Valley at the SBCC Tournament on 12/6.

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Winter has arrived!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 8, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Winter has arrived.  Photo of the grapevine from my Land Rover on December 6th.

Last week of classes at BC.  Great holiday spirit.  Students excited….students stressed….  Nicky Damania and team staffed the library with extra hours for students to study in groups…. faculty dropped by to help students…..  What can I say.  We are BC!

BC Food Services Comes Through in a Pinch

Earlier this week BC administrators and managers came together to assist students with enrolling in classes for the Spring semester.  I want to give a huge shout out to our Food Services team who stepped up and served a delicious lunch to those helping in the outreach efforts.  If you know of anyone wanting to register for BC courses in the Spring 2019 semester, have them sign up today!  Steven Watkin and Ashlea Ward have organized three days of registration (Dec 10th, 11th and 12th) with the help of Counselors and Ed Advisors.    You can check out the Class Schedule and registration information at this link: www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/academic/schedule

Penny Loos, Diana Murrell and Pam Miller: These ladies are on it!

Food Services had their last day in Campus Center yesterday before relocating to make room for the cafeteria remodel!  They are moving to the Huddle and Mount Vernon Commissary over Winter Recess.  Here are some photos of their last day before the remodel:

Also, be sure to check out the new Food Services social media accounts!  You can follow their journey to the new location at the Huddle, see the new food trailer, and see what delicious menu items they’re preparing!  Check out @BCFoodScene on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

BC Jazz presents: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble held a holiday concert earlier this week, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite re-imagined with a big band twist. The concert was amazing!!  The big band rendition of this classic music provided holiday cheer with a fun spin. There were saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, a double bass and of course drums. I loved the beautiful clarinet during the “Chinoiserie” song, or rather, the Chinese Dance.  Also, Professor Robbie Martinez surprised guests and joined in on “Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)” with his beautiful piccolo playing.

I was so proud of our students and the beautiful music that they performed.  My personal favorite was the “Sugar Rum Cherry” song, a take on the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Students learned how to integrate trumpet mutes and rubber plungers in order to hit the notes as Duke Ellington originally intended. A huge shout out to Kris Tiner for directing this amazing piece of music here at the BC campus.    

The Jazz Ensemble performing “Sugar Rum Cherry”
The Jazz Ensemble performing “Dance of the Floreadores”

Blue Ribbon Committee Reconvenes

The Blue Ribbon Committee reconvened earlier this week bringing together community leaders who were pivotal to the passage of Measure J in 2016.  Attendees were taken on a trip down memory lane with a great video created by our very own Chris Blakemore.  Thank you Chris!

Measure J: Memories

We also shared all of the recent developments here at the BC campus.  There are eleven projects in various phase stages over the next year!  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker definitely have their hands full, and can’t wait to share each of these projects as they progress along.

Emails Worth Sharing from Paul Beckworth

In light of the news of the passing of President George Bush, Paul Beckworth shared a memorable photo with me this week. He said, “with GW Bush in Somalia in December 92 or Jan 93. I asked him for a pic, he grabbed my camera out of my hand, and said , “Come here Beckworth,” (he read my name tag) and took a selfie of us. Pretty cool!”

Paul Beckworth and President Bush

2018 Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

The Bakersfield College Foundation hosted a wonderful group of about 60 invited guests in the Renegade Room at the Holiday Dinner, following the Foundation Board’s annual strategic planning meeting. The dinner was expertly prepared and served by the students in the Culinary Arts program as their final exam for the semester. Many members of the BC Foundation Board were joined by their spouses to ring in the holidays, including founding Foundation Board member, Ken Byrum and his wife Pam; and Foundation Board Chair Jeff Bell and his wife Amy. Other special guests of the evening included KCCD Trustee-Elect, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and her husband Jim; Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and his wife Tiffani; and Gloria Williams of CRC and her sister Loretta. The guests were entertained by the talented BC Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett. The choir performed four Christmas songs and surprised the Foundation with a special video to express their gratitude to the Foundation members for the help in making their trip to Australia a reality this past summer. Major compliments to the Culinary Arts students, Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman and Christian Flores-Castaneda for a beautiful and delicious evening! You all earned an A+ in our eyes!

Attendees at the Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

SGA Discovers a Hidden Treasure

Our SGA president Ashley Harp came across a fun piece of BC nostalgia.  Check out the video below to see why BC has school spirit in spades!

Seen on Facebook: BC Chamber Singers Christmas Gathering

This week, I saw on Facebook that the BC Chamber Singers gathered at Choral Director Jennifer Garrett’s home for evening caroling in the neighborhood park, packing bags for the homeless, and spending time together for the holidays. She said in her post, “What a wonderful night with the BC Chamber Singers in my home! We ate lots of yummy food, put on a mini concert in the City in the Hills Park (thanks to so many for joining us), exchanged secret Santa gifts, made bags to hand out to the homeless, and many enjoyed the hot tub or talked to finish off the night. They are such an incredible group of people. We still have a lot of work to do in order to reach the excellence we are striving for and we will continue to work and love music to get there.”  Check out the fun photos.

KernTax 79th Annual Meeting

I was at Tom Burke’s table at the KernTax 79th Annual Meeting earlier this week at the Bakersfield Country Club, along with Cindy Collier, Bill Thomas, Tom Gelder, Romeo Agbalog, and Debbie Martin.  It is always great to get out and visit with our fellow community members! I feel so lucky to be a part of a city like Bakersfield!

Our dual enrollment program was highlighted at the event. Michael Turnipseed shared in his introductory remarks that over 3,000 dual enrolled students have benefited from the partnership between Bakersfield College and Kern High School District (KHSD), thanks to initial support from the Game Changer grant. Dr. Anna Laven, program manager for dual enrollment, and her husband, Commissioner Andrew Kendall, attended the event. The keynote speaker, James Gollub, highlighted the success of applying collaborative strategy to address our next generation economy.

Celebrating Dual Enrollment

On Thursday, December 6, the dual enrollment team held a convening of high school partners from McFarland, Wasco, Delano and KHSD and Bakersfield College student services areas to recognize the strong work that has taken place, expanding on success. Points of discussion included enrollment trends, guided pathways, pre- and post-enrollment activities, and the dual enrollment newsletter. Steve Watkin guided participants in discussion, with presentations provided by Dr. Anna Laven, Kylie Swanson, Sharon Bush, Liz Rozell, Jaqueline Lau, and Abel Guzman.

Fun Registration Time Photos from S&E

Veronica Hathaway shared with me the creativity of Dean Stephen Waller and everyone in the Science and Engineering area. We are BC!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this past Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Baseball Head Coach, Tim Painton and four of his players: Kamron Willman, Ryan Dickerson, Nate Ortiz, and Frank Villasenor.

Renegade Women’s Volleyball Team Goes to State

Our amazing Renegade Women’s Volleyball team went to the state championships last weekend, hosted by Solano College in Fairfield. This was the first time since 2009 that the team qualified for the state tournament. They were ranked #2 in the state with a 25-1 overall record and were riding a 19-match winning streak. The streak ended last weekend, but we could not be more proud of our Renegades!!! Not only did they make it to the championships, Coach Ferreira was recently honored as the SoCal Coach of the Year and WSC South Coach of the Year. Setter Sarah Armendariz was named an AVCA All-American and WSC Player of the Year – huge recognitions for both! 

Proudly wearing the Renegade Volleyball Conf Championship t-shirt. We are BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/25-12/1) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Brianna Mendez, Women’s Basketball – Scored 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in helping the team to a third place finish at the Santa Ana Tournament this last weekend.
  • Marcus Hutcherson, Wrestling – Qualified for the state tournament by placing 1st in his weight class (125 lb) at the Southern Regional Tournament and helping the team to a 4th place finish.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams recently finished their 2018 fall season at the CCCAA State Championships. The women’s team placed in a tie for 15th place, with Gabby Lugo placing 10th overall. For the men, Adrian Lopez was a state qualifier.

With the conclusion of the season, post season awards have been announced. Below is the list of awards by individual:

Gabby Lugo, So. (Bakersfield Christian HS) – 1st-Team All-American and Western State Conference (WSC) 1st-Team All-Conference

Jacquelyn Barrios, Fr. (Foothill HS) – WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Lourdes Cruz, So. (Wasco HS)- WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Angelo Benitez, Fr. (Independence HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Justin Frando, Fr. (Highland HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Cutberto Salgado, So. (Wasco HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

California College Guidance Initiative in McFarland

As we continue to expand Early College opportunities for high school students throughout Kern County, we are looking for innovative ways to align with our K-12 partners and provide the resources they need. The California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) is a new partnership opportunity with K-12 school districts to support students, counselors, parents, and community-based organizations with technological tools that help guide the college and career planning and preparation process. Bakersfield College is currently working with all of our partner districts to engage with CCGI. On December 5th, CCGI staff met with McFarland Unified School District (MUSD) administrators and counselors to begin implementation of the program. MUSD is leading the way for all districts in Kern County on this project. This tool will help K-12 educators, parents, students, and Bakersfield College collaborate to build clear pathways to higher education. I cannot wait to see what develops out of this work!

MUSD, BC & CCGI in McFarland.

Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon

Earlier this week, BC attended the Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon where Bill Wright was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. BC’s Rony Recinos, Automotive Instructor Industrial Arts had the chance to meet with Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Senator Shannon Grove.

Sheriff Youngblood, BC’s Rony Recinos, and Senator Shannon Grove 

Winter at BC

Earl Parsons from the Marketing team sent over some beautiful photos that he took as winter weather blankets the BC campus.  Thanks Earl!

Jennifer Serratt took some photos of the gorgeous rain that we had earlier this week. The rainy weather made for a cozy atmosphere in the office! 

Jennifer also shared a photo with her and two of our favorite veterans, Paul Beckworth and Tommy Tunson.  They’re ready for the Army Navy game this weekend.  When Jennifer said she was rooting for the Air Force, they let her know that was the wrong choice! 🙂 

Tommy, Jennifer and Paul

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

November to Remember

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 1, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Let’s pause and honor the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George Bush.  Take a moment to check out this in-depth article in the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/us/politics/george-hw-bush-dies.html

Business Pathway Industry Summit

On Tuesday morning, students in BC’s Business pathway gathered in the Indoor Theater for the first ever Business Pathway Industry Summit. As students filled the front rows of the Indoor Theater, Dean Manny Mourtzanos was preparing to go on stage to welcome students and industry partners to the first annual event. Manny opened by telling students we are so happy that they’re here and we’ll be even happier when they graduate, because we care about our students and want them to efficiently complete their degrees and certificates.

Manny Mourtzanos speaking at the podium

The moderator for the afternoon, Mary Jo Pasek introduced the first panel of guests to the stage. The first panel connected students with local industry leaders including Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter of Talent Acquisition for The Wonderful Company, Bob Bell, CEO of Cita Development, Inc, Morgan Clayton, President and Founder of Tel-Tec Security, Clayton Montgomery, Information Systems Security for Aera Energy, and Shontay Sweeney, VP at Chase Bank. The members of the panel shared a little about their background, how they got to where they are today, and where they see future business careers going. 

Mary Jo at the podium with panels on either side

The second panel featured Business faculty including Dr. Michael Harvath, Michael Ivy, Jeff la Force, Rudy Menjivar, Creighton Magers, Richard Miles, Valerie Robinson, Jonathan Ward, Eddie Rangel, and Dr. Murad Zikri. The panelists shared how they became interested in Business, what they did before they became professors, and  words of advice for students.

Mary Jo Pasek, with Beth Harrison and Valerie Robinson planned the event on a short timelineAs students left the theater they were served lunch provided by Student Success and Equity, and guided towards tables in the courtyard where they could gather and carry on conversations with industry leaders and fellow classmates. Events like these help our students connect with one another and connect with their community.

Emails Worth Sharing

Manny Mourtzanos emailed me midweek to share a student success story that was an outcome of the Business Pathways Industry Summit:

“At the Business Summit yesterday, one of our Business Administration students did the right thing by bringing her resume with her. She submitted it to one of the representatives from the Social Security Administration and has since been invited to interview for a summer internship.”

Stories like this are exactly why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever!

Roadmap to OSRM Degrees

On Wednesday, BC’s Occupational Safety and Risk Management (OSRM) program hosted an informational booth in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering building to inform students about course options leading to a degree in OSRM. Occupational safety professor Catherine Jones organized the booth providing handouts about the myriad career opportunities available to students in the OSRM program.

Experts in safety and risk management strive to protect workers, property and the environment in various occupational workplaces. Safety professionals can be found in a broad range of industries, from construction, petroleum and agriculture to insurance and regulatory government agencies such as the EPA and OSHA.

To reflect this broad range, the OSRM program at BC offers four different associate degrees of science – agriculture, business, industrial technology, and health science. Each of these programs teaches students the scientific foundations and knowledge of the regulatory framework needed to pursue a degree as a safety professional.

Clarifying the path is one of the four pillars of Guided Pathways. Events like this help do just that, clarifying for our students what they need to take to achieve their goal and start a career. I’d like to thank Catherine Jones and the OSRM program for organizing this informational event for our students.

Catherine Jones handing out information to a student while explaining about OSRM.

De-Stress Fest

As we head into Finals Week, many of our students are feeling the pressure to finish projects and study for the upcoming final exams. The week before finals every semester, the staff and faculty of the Grace Van Dyke Library provide games and events for students to decompress from their stressful study sessions.

For this semester’s De-Stress Fest, the library arranged for therapy dogs from Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue to stop by the library on Monday for a little pet therapy for student relaxation.

Throughout the week, the library provided “De-Stress Zone” stations on the second floor with coloring pages, puzzles, word games and origami to give students a temporary respite from their studies.

Along with activities, the library also created a flyer with six stress-free research tips, which include developing search terms, doing some introductory background research on your subject, and narrowing your paper’s topic. Librarian Faith Bradham, who coordinated many of the activities for this semester’s De-Stress Fest, also recommended taking advantage of the free mental health screenings and therapy sessions available through the Student Health Center.

I’d like to thank Kirk Russell, Faith Bradham, and all of the faculty and staff at the Grace Van Dyke Byrd Library for organizing this semester’s De-Stress Fest, as well as Marley’s Mutts for providing therapy dogs on Monday morning. Don’t worry Delano, you haven’t been forgotten! Emotional support dogs will be visiting the Lobby at the Delano Campus on December 3rd to assist Delano students with de-stressing for finals. This is a great example of our core value of Wellness, and our holistic approach to education including the mind, body and spirit. I wish our students the best of luck on their finals next week.

Renegade Minute

Students in Dr. Josh Ottum’s Commercial Music Certificate program have completed Season 2 of The Renegade Minute Podcast. “In our Sound Design and Synthesis course (MUSC B32), we aim to give students practical experience in recording, editing, and doing sound design for a podcast,” says Ottum. Featuring interviews with librarians, professors, security guards, and more, the podcast aims to shed light on the BC community and people that make it work.

A few weeks ago, student and Renegade Francis Benevente interviewed me for the podcast, The Renegade Minute,posted right before Thanksgiving break. Listen in at Soundcloud.

See our talented Commercial Music students perform at December’s First Friday Art Walk. Students from the Commercial Music program will perform original and cover material.

The unique creativity of our students was on full display throughout the sale, from ornately crafted cups, bowls and vases to sculptures displayed on tables and shelves.

Early Holiday Shopping at BC

Did you get an opportunity to peruse the beautiful ceramic offering of the ceramics sale? It was a great opportunity to procure a unique gift for that someone special. On Wednesday and Thursday, the students in BC’s ceramics classes had the opportunity to display their projects and potentially sell them during the ceramics sale held in the Fine Arts building.

The ceramics sale was a tradition for many years on main campus, but one that dwindled out for a few years. When ceramics professor Darrin Ekern was hired three years ago, he brought the ceramics sale at BC back and has hosted it every semester since. The revenue generated from the sale go directly to supporting student through scholarships.

Thank you Darrin Ekern and the Ceramics Department for providing an opportunity for students to display their work. 

Power Lunch – Chain, Cohn, Styles

The Student Government Association hosted its last Power Lunch of the semester in Levinson Hall 40 on Wednesday, inviting attorney Beatriz Trejo from local law firm Chain, Cohn, Styles to talk about her experiences as a Latina woman in the legal field.

Trejo earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cal State Bakersfield and a master’s in political science from Cal State Northridge before moving to Ohio to obtain her law degree from the University of Akron in 2011. She describes her time in Ohio, as well as her first few years as a practicing attorney in California, as a culture shock, as there are few young women of color in the legal field. She has since found that her differences are a strength, as she can speak directly to her Latino and Latina clients without an interpreter.

Trejo speaking in front of the SGA sign.

Trejo is a workers’ compensation attorney, representing injured workers at Chain, Cohn, Styles. In 2017, she was selected by the State Bar of California as the “Workers’ Compensation Young Lawyer of the Year”. She prides herself on her drive and professional work ethic to fight for labor rights in the community. “Someone else may have more experience, education or other advantages than me, but one thing they will never be able to control is how hard I work,” Trejo said.

Trejo is an active member of several local organizations, including the Immigration Justice Collaborative, which seeks to educate immigrants on their constitutional rights. She is also a part of the Cal State Bakersfield Pre-Law Advisory Committee, Latina Leaders of Kern County, Kern County Small Business Academies, and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Some advice that Trejo gave to students interested in the legal field included: developing verbal and written communication skills, abiding by deadlines, and effectively prioritizing your caseload. She also recommended reaching out to some local attorneys for job shadowing opportunities before committing to the time and financial investment required to attend law school.

I’d like to thank the Legislative Affairs Department of BC’s Student Government Association for organizing this important networking opportunity for our pre-law students, as well as Beatriz Trejo and the staff at Chain, Cohn, Styles for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak with our students.

Ethics Bowl BC vs CSUB Scrimmage

Students from the Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield Ethics Bowl teams scrimmaged in the Levan Center on Tuesday to prepare for the regional competition at Cabrillo College later today, Saturday, December 1. This is BC’s first year competing in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which gives college and university students practical experience in developing a coherent ethical argument.

BC philosophy professor Bryan Russel giving direction.

Before the competition, the two teams researched several potential questions about contemporary ethical issues from a range of topics, including business and professional ethics, political and cultural issues, and personal relationships. The moderator, BC philosophy professor Bryan Russell, selected one of the issues for each team to debate. Each team had 10 minutes to present an initial argument about how to address the issue, while demonstrating a deep understanding of the case and describing the ethical framework they used to arrive at their conclusion. After the main argument, the opposing team presented a rebuttal, asking for the team to clarify elements of their argument or demonstrating ways that the argument may be inconsistent. After the main team responded to the rebuttal, the panel of judges – BC professors Reggie Williams and Michael Korcok, and Cal State Bakersfield professor Deborah Jackson – had a few minutes to ask questions about the initial argument.

Teams facing each other with the panel of judges in between
Left to right: CSUB Team, panel of judges, moderator, BC Team

The BC team answered the question, “should victims have more say in sentencing than currently afforded them in the American Justice System?” Cal State Bakersfield’s team answered the question, “should we recognize Rachel Dolezal’s claim that she is black, even though neither of her parents have any African-American heritage?”

BC’s Team

The Ethics Bowl differs from Lincoln-Douglas or other traditional debate formats in that the primary goal is not about using rhetoric to persuade judges on one of two arbitrarily assigned positions, but instead emphasizes intellectual honesty and civic discussion by evaluating how well the team was able to defend and articulate their belief.

Left to right: BC professor Reggie Williams, BC professor Michael Korcok, and CSUB professor Deborah Jackson 

I’d like to thank the Levan Center and the Philosophy departments of both BC and CSUB for organizing this Ethics Bowl scrimmage, and I wish both teams the best of luck in their competitions.

Renegade Round Table

Another event in BC’s Norman Levan Center for the Humanities took place Wednesday Evening, November 28th, where approximately 90 people gathered for an engaging Renegade Round Table. This month’s topic was: Racial Injustice and the US Justice System. BC professors Erin Miller (History), Michael Harvath (Economics), Steven Holmes (Political Science), and Neal Stanifer (English) engaged with the issue in a number of interesting ways.

Panel in front of the screen that says "The Injustice System? Do we have a system of injustice rather than a Justice system?"
From left to right: Erin Miller, Michael Harvath, Steven Holmes, Neal Stanifer

Stanifer lead off, drawing the audience’s attention to the disproportionate rate at which US minorities are charged with petty crimes, such as jaywalking. Harvath focused on the role that media play in drawing attention to some alleged injustices over others. Miller asked the audience whether they feel we have a system of justice or systemic injustice, and Holmes presented statistics that challenged the audience to entertain the question of whether minorities in fact commit serious crimes more frequently than do other members of society. I’m very proud of the quality and rigor of discussion of our faculty.  

speaking while wearing a t-shirt that says "I'm confused, wait... maybe I'm not."
Michael Harvath

Thank you Reggie Williams for organizing these Renegade Round Tables to enhance the education of our students and our community. There will be three more Renegade Round Tables in the spring. Topics and dates are forthcoming, but the panels will be on Wednesday evenings in the Levan Center. They are always free and open to the public. For scheduled events, visit the Levan Center Lectures and Events.

Working with Faculty to Build a Better BC

On Wednesday our Science & Engineering faculty met with the architecture firm who was awarded the Design/Build contract for the Science & Engineering building.  This will be the third building to be built using Measure J funds here on the Bakersfield College campus. The meeting was a great opportunity for faculty to let the designers know what is best suited for the new building, and what is essential to improving the classroom and therefore educational journey of our BC students.  I can’t wait to see the final rendering!

2018 BC Employee Holiday Reception

Our annual BC Employee Holiday Reception was held on Thursday in the Fireside Room.   The great food and collegiality is a festive kick-off to the holidays and recognition of the hard work of all administrators, faculty, and staff over the fall semester.  Over two hundred Renegades enjoyed scrumptious treats by Chef Stuart and the BC Food Services Staff, along with Chef Gomez’s yummy bread pudding from the Renegade Room with the Culinary Arts Students. 

We enjoyed beautiful holiday music provided by John Gerhold, Jennifer Garrett, Robbie Martinez and Kris Tiner along with their wonderful student musicians.  The annual event is coordinated each year by the Bakersfield Holiday Reception Committee (Susan Pinza, Kristin Rabe, Leah Carter, Tracy Lovelace and Pat Smith) and is made possible by generous donations from the Bakersfield College Foundation, President’s office, CCA, CSEA, and numerous employee donations. 

I want to send a special thank you to our amazing Food Services department, who once again outdid themselves.  Thank you to Stephanie Stuart for managing such a great team, and to Penny Loos for all of the beautiful decorations!  The Fireside Room was warm and festive, with our many faculty and staff spreading holiday cheer while eating delicious goodies.  Planning has already begun for next year’s reception, so if you’d like to contribute, please contact the BC Foundation. Enjoy these fabulous photos by Manny De Los Santos.

Renegade Athletics

Renegades of the Week

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Ryan Bayne, Women’s Volleyball – Had 10 total blocks in helping the team to playoff wins over Mt. San Jacinto on 11/20 and San Diego Mesa on 11/24.
  • Shahadah Camp, Men’s Basketball – Shot 54.5% to score 22 points in helping the team to a 76-67 win at West Hills Coalinga on 11/20.

Women’s Soccer Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Women’s Soccer team finished the 2018 season with an 11-5-4 overall record (3-2-3) in conference and hosted a CCCAA playoff play-in game.

With the season coming to a close, post-season awards were announced and the team took home a host of conference awards.

  • Drew Hallum (Centennial HS) 2018 CCCAA All-State & 2018 WSC East 1st-Team All-Conference
  • Brooke McDonald (East HS) – 2018 CCCAA All-State & 2018 WSC East 2nd-Team All Conference
  • Michelle Vargas (Independence HS) – 2018 WSC East 1st-Team All Conference
  • Rhyan Acosta (Liberty HS) – 2018 WSC East 1st-Team All Conference
  • Emma Gross – (Liberty HS) – 2018 WSC East 2nd-Team All-Conference
  • Jackie Zavalla (Bakersfield HS) – 2018 WSC East Honorable Mention
  • Cameron Jimenez (Independence HS) -2018 WSC East Honorable Mention

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

Men’s Basketball Tops West Hills 

Renegades on Social Media

BC in Digital Journal

Bakersfield College and our efforts in partnership with Jobspeaker was highlighted in Newswire article “Jobspeaker and Bakersfield College Creating Equitable Career Pathways” in the Digital Journal The article says, “Bakersfield College supports students through their Learning & Career Pathways approach to keep students on track in their skills development for their chosen field” and featured BC’s Stephanie Baltazar. Check out the full “Jobspeaker and Bakersfield College Creating Equitable Career Pathways” article.

Tyrone Crawford Instagram and Twitter

Bakersfield College Alumnus Tyrone Crawford of the Dallas Cowboys was all over social media with his slick Renegade jacket lining. I am so proud of Tyrone and his success in the NFL!


Recently, the Cowboys filmed a documentary about Tyrone and visited our main campus to interview Coach Jeff Chudy and film the Memorial Stadium. I first talked about this in my September 2nd blog. His story led him from Canada to Bakersfield College before transferring to Boise State and on to the NFL. Watch the completed documentary: Deep Blue: from the Edge: The Tyrone Crawford Story.

Renegades on Facebook

It’s great to see Renegades in the community being recognized for their service. Paws for Liam which helps raise awareness for Autism Service Dogs tagged BC in a post which highlighted a BC rad tech student. 

Upcoming Events

This season is rich with celebrations and entertainment and BC is doing our part to entertain our community. Make sure to support our many student endeavors. Here are a few on the calendar:

Fun Photos

Here is some fun with Media Arts students hard at work!

Sonya speaking with her hand in an ok sign

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thankful for Friends, Family, and the Home of the Renegades

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Happy Thanksgiving Bakersfield

I’m thankful that Bakersfield College is a place of transformation, excellence, achievement, hope, dreams, diversity, acceptance, and student support. I’m thankful that our campus is one without boundaries, where we reach out to serve students in our surrounding communities, bringing college closer to home so they, too, can obtain a college education.

 I’m thankful for the countless stories of how our work is changing lives. Each and every day, I am amazed by the leadership and engagement of BC’s faculty and staff, especially in the way they serve our students providing seamless transitions and guided paths with pillars of light, support and hope.

In this season of thanksgiving, I spent a few moments reviewing weekly posts on my blog and through seeing the photos of students, graduates, alumni, supporters, faculty, and staff, I am blessed to share that I truly am the happiest and luckiest college president ever.  There really is so much to be thankful for.

Remember the Renegade Pantry for the Holidays

The holidays are a time to set aside differences and focus on love of family and community, coming together in fellowship to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and mourn our losses over the year. As the temperatures drop with the change of seasons, we become more sympathetic to those less fortunate than us who are suffering in the cold without food,housing or proper clothing.

Student hands out Pantry bags
Student hands out Pantry bags

At BC, we believe that none of our students should come to class or go home hungry, which is why we established the Renegade Pantry to alleviate food insecurity, hunger and poverty among our students, which in turn makes them more prepared to commit to their education.

This holiday season, we ask that you consider supporting the Renegade Pantry by donating nonperishable food, clothing and hygiene items. For more information about how to make a donation or financial contribution, visit the Donate page on the Office of Student Life website. Also the Culinary Arts Renegade Room is hosting a promotion in support of the Renegade Pantry – bring in two canned or dry goods items to the Renegade Room, and you’ll receive a soft drink of your choice free of charge. They also accept new or gently used coats, scarves, hats and blankets.

Students outside the Renegade Pantry
Students outside the Renegade Pantry

I’d like to thank the Office of Student Life for operating the Renegade Pantry and all those who have donated to keep it going.

Phillips 66 Tours Industrial Automation Lab

Phillips 66 Logo

On Tuesday, a team of 5 representatives from Phillips 66 were on campus to tour BC’s CIM and robotics labs. Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso shared that they asked incredible questions and one of them even made a comment that the equipment in our labs “is exact what is used in industry right now.”

BC’s Industrial Automation lab

Dean Bresso went on to share that at least two dozen students in Engineering and IT met with them for lunch and learned more about career opportunities within the field. Industry and community partnerships like this are one of the many enriching experiences for students at the home of the Renegades. Friends, it’s stories like these that prompt me to ask…

Have I told you lately that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?  🙂

Helping Youth Develop A College Going Attitude

Marisa Marquez presented valuable college application information to the Latina Leaders of Kern County Youth Leadership Program on Saturday, November 17.  She spent three hours sharing tips on the college application process, financial aid, goal setting, and why developing a college going attitude is so important. Bakersfield College has been a longtime supporter of Latina Leaders of Kern County and their efforts in youth leadership development. LLKC launched its twenty-first annual Youth Leadership Program with this session. Kudos to Marisa and all of our BC faculty and staff who go above and beyond and volunteer for the many great organizations in our community.

BC’s Counseling Department

With Thanksgiving now in our rear view mirror, the end of Fall and start of the Spring 2018 semester is right around the corner. I can bet that students are registering for their classes at this very moment. In light of this, I thought it was important to highlight the superheroes in our Counseling and Advising Department who assist students every day. The counseling office inside the Center for Student Success is always bustling with activities, workshops, appointments and walk-ins, and our Counseling and Advising staff handles it all with grace, conducting back-to-back appointments practically every day to serve our students and get them into the classes that they need.

Counselors and Advisors strategize to help students

Counselors and educational advisors are integral to our vision for implementing guided pathways at BC, and many of them serve as completion coaches for our ten Learning and Career Pathways, as well as our affinity groups for African-Americans, Latinos, and veterans. These coaches work with diligence and care to ensure that each student in their completion coaching communities is on track to graduate with a degree that will transform their lives and the lives of their families.

The Counseling and Advising Department is also working to bring its services out into the rural communities in Kern County, offering appointments at the Delano Campus, as well as select appointment dates throughout the year in Shafter and Wasco to bring BC closer to home.

Nothing we do here at BC would be possible without our counselors and advisors working with students to get them registered in classes that properly align with their educational and career goals, so I’d like to just say thank you for all you do and keep up the good work!

Transgender Day of Remembrance

A candle and small flier outside the doors to Levinson Hall

On Tuesday, the Bakersfield College community gathered in Levinson Hall to honor the lives of 23 transgender people who were murdered in 2018 as part of the 19th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

BC’s Sexuality and Gender Awareness club (SAGA) organized the campus’ commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which began in 1999 by transgender woman Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of her friend Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, Transgender Day of Remembrance has grown into an international day of action, with candlelight vigils, marches and art shows organized around the world on November 20 every year.

The gathering of students, faculty, staff, and allies
Professor Helen Acosta speaks during the event.
Professor Helen Acosta speaks during the event.

Club adviser and communication professor Helen Acosta spoke about the ways that people can be proper allies and advocates for the trans community.

“You don’t have to understand what it’s like to be transgender,” Acosta said. “Accept them for who they are and love them for who they are.” “My life has been deeply enriched by the trans friends and students,” she added.

Congratulations to Jen Garrett

Dr. Jennifer Garret, BC’s Choral Director

BC’s Choral Director, Jennifer Garrett has been invited to be one of the guest conductors for the 2019 Central Region Honor Choir. Each year the high school directors from the central region vote on next year’s honor choir conductors and so it’s quite an honor that our very own Jen Garrett will conduct.

The scheduled event is quite a ways away, not taking place until November of next year but stay tuned to my blog for more information when it becomes available.

TBC Highlights Jeannie Parent

BC’s Jeannie Parent was recently spotlighted in an article by The Bakersfield Californian’s Sam Morgen. The article titled “Local advocacy group extends welcoming hand into Mesa Verde detention facility” shares more about the group Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants, which was formed in 2015. 

Fun Photos: College Council

College Council met on Friday, November 16th to address college-wide issues through a collaborative approach. Of the topics presented, I was really impressed with the Industrial and Transportation  Meta-major Pathways Report given by Katie Makaiwi and the State of the College by Dan Hall.

Fun Photos: Child Development Center

Sue Vaughn shared some fun photos from BC’s Child Development Center. She said, “the staff in the Child Development Center decided that they wanted to have special shirts to identify themselves so they designed these.”

Staff at BC’s Child Development Center wear their shirts on November 19, 2018

Fun Photos: Renegades are Everywhere

BC’s Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez texted me that he spotted the Renegade Athletics mascot on the back of this local Pepsi truck while leaving the BC SW campus.

Renegades on the back of a Pepsi truck

Where have you spotted the Renegades around town?

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Gabby Lugo, Women’s Cross Country – Placed 10th at the CCCAA State Cross Country Championships and was named All-American in her final race as a Renegade.
  • Josh Medina, Football – Honored as the 2018 Patriotic Bowl Player of the Game. Threw for 258 yards and with 3 total touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing).
Gabby Lugo and Josh Medina

Women’s Volleyball Brings Home Post-Season Awards

The Renegade Women’s Volleyball team finished the 2018 regular season with a 23-1 record and a state ranking of #2. With the first round of the playoffs starting this coming week, post-season awards were announced. The team and Coach Ferreira were highly decorated. List of awards by individual:

  • Sarah Armendariz (So., Clovis West HS) – AVCA 1st Team All-American, CCCAA 1st Team All-State, WSC South Conference – Player of the Year
  • Lanie Camarillo (Fr., Liberty HS) – WSC South 1st Team
  • Penelope Zepeda (Fr., Frontier HS) – WSC South 1st Team
  • Jessica Merante (Fr., BCHS) – WSC South 2nd Team, WSC South Libero of the Year
  • Bianca Logsdon (So., Stockdale HS) – WSC South 2nd Team
  • Ryan Bayne (Fr., Stockdale HS) – WSC South Honorable Mention
  • Shyanne Baez (So., Golden Valley HS) – WSC South Honorable Mention
  • Coach Carl Ferreira – 2018 CCCWVCA Coach of the Year, 2018 WSC South Coach of the Year

Football Post-Season Awards Announced

The Bakersfield College football team finished the 2018 season with a hard fought 34-31 loss to Saddleback in the Patriotic Bowl. Overall they compiled a 6-5 record and went 3-2 in conference. With the close of the season the SCFA has announces postseason awards and several Renegades received recognition. The list of awards are below:

  • 1st Team All-Conference
    • Ricky Leung-Wai- DL (So., Ridgeview HS)
    • Justin Harrington- FS (Fr., Southeast Raleigh HS, NC)
    • Carson Olivas- Punter (So., Bakersfield HS)
    • Nathan De Jager- Place Kicker (So., Bakersfield Christian HS)
    • Cam Roberson- Punt Return Specialist (So., Garces HS)
    • Elisha Ortiz- RB (So., Stockdale HS)
  • 2nd Team All-Conference
    • James Thomas- DE (So., Independence)
    • Jalen Simpkins-ILB (So., West HS)
    • Lini Richards- CB (So., Wildwood HS)
    • Holden Williams- DL (Fr., Taft HS)
    • Jaron Marshall- OL (So., Fredrick Douglas HS, MD)
    • Zack Hartsfield- TE (Fr., Centennial HS)
    • Elisha Ortiz- All Purpose (So., Stockdale HS)
    • Shane Jones- WR – (Fr., Bakersfield HS)
  • Honorable Mention
    • Alex Bolden-OLB (So., Washington Union)
    • Mario Solario- ILB (So., Cesar Chavez HS)
    • LJ Early- Utility (So., Tulare Western HS)
    • Josh Yubeta- OL (Fr., Highland HS)

Roundup of Athletics Events

BC Supports Student Athletes

It’s always a treat to spend time at Renegade athletics games surrounded by
Renegade faculty, staff, fans, and friends. I loved cheering on the Renegade Volleyball Players beside Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Michele Bresso, and Darrell Ballard. It’s extra special when families bring young ones to the games. Will I see you at a Renegade game?

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —